An admirer wrote:
Sr. Elma Heesacker is another Sister who honored the unique gifts in others. Through her faithful dedication of 25 years of preparing and providing meals for us in the Motherhouse, she gave us the sustenance and energy to use our gifts, whether it was studying, teaching or cleaning.
Sr. Elma has also been one who serves. Her years of working in our convent chapel as a sacristan made it possible for us to enter a sacred place to pray in an environment of beauty and comfort. She gave others the opportunity to share their gifts of social conversation and laughter.
Sr. Elma’s most important gifts have been her spontaneity and laughter. Her desire is to form community and to bring us all together.
In addition to sharing Sr. Elma’s story, we are proud to share photos of her life and ministry.
In her own words: Sr. Elma Heesacker
I remember hearing the call to religious life at a very early age. I had transferred from public school to a Catholic school – St. Francis of Assisi in Roy. I was at St. Francis of Assisi School from a double grade – taking second and third grade classes at the same time – through eighth grade. For me, this was a true sign of God‘s love, care and compassion, help, and guidance.
I was taught many things but especially how I wanted to be good and loving. I learned this when I got the opportunity to help the Sisters after school. This meant I had to wait for the later buses to take me home, so I really got to know about the Sisters and to share with them.
In my ministry, I was always a service person. I became an assistant cook, and then head cook. I learned to be a baker, and I worked in the laundry. Later, I was a driver for the Convent and became sacristan for the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon Chapel. Over the years I found it has been a real joy and blessing to serve. I have always been a “hands on” person, behind the scene working for the Sisters’ Community. I know that I did not like to be in public eye and I am very much a farmer’s daughter.
I love my God, I love Mother Mary and I have great love for many of the Saints and Angels. I find that praying comes easily to me and I feel God’s presence very much. He is my center and my guiding force.
Photos and video
In their own words (video): The 2015 Jubilarians of the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon